Yet not a drop to drink

Family in Dar es Salaam

The water margin

Tanzania was glad to secure the services of a British-led consortium to run the newly privatised water system in its capital Dar es Salaam. But then the price of water started to rise … Xan Rice reports

Thursday August 16, 2007
The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2149462,00.html

In summary:

  • The World Bank twists Tanzania’s arm into privatising its water supply.

  • UK DFID, Tanzania’s biggest donor, gives £444,000 to a PR firm to promote privatisation.

  • Contract is awarded to British firm Biwater to supply water.

  • Biwater mess up, price of water rises while quality and quantity no better.

  • World Bank awards the project top score despite utter failure.

  • Biwater also fail in their sole social obligation – helping poorest households to connect.

  • Tanzanian Govt finally cancel contract (under election pressure) 22 months into a 10year contract

  • Biwater take Tanzania to World Bank secret tribunal, asking for £10m-£12.5m compensation

  • Over two thirds of such cases are ruled in the investors favour.

  • So, UK could end up funding the payout to Biwater – which is owned by a multimillionaire.

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